To analyze my style, I chose to look into an essay I wrote last year on the Polish writer, Wislawa Szymborska. As an academic essay, I argued that Szymborska’s Communist, rigid past helped her develop into a writer who embraced the unknown.
I had always grown up with the emphasis that the first person should be used as little as possible, especially in academic papers. This essay was structured explicitly: starting with theory, followed by evidence, followed by explanation, and loop back to theory. Repeat.
One of the things that I had wanted to pay attention to in this piece was the variation of my sentence structures. Looking back on it, although there are differences, a predominant structure still reappears quite often. The compound sentence with dependent clause, followed by independent clause was used quite a lot throughout. It’s almost as if I wanted to leave a little bit of a cliffhanger each time before finishing the sentence so that the reader would want to continue reading the essay.
One thing that is pervasive throughout is word choice. I am very conscious of not using the same words and for preserving the aesthetic qualities of the sentence and of the entire essay as a whole. When I introduce quotes, I make sure that the entire sentence sways to the same rhythm. Even in other writing pieces, I’ve noticed that whatever tone I’ve been reading is in some shape or form reflected in how I write. If the piece is witty or humorous, mine takes on a more playful style. If the piece is somber and pensive, my writing becomes more reflective as well.
In some ways, I seem to absorb and reflect what I read and experience around me. But throughout my writing, my style tends to be more reserved, more formal, and more focused on the beauty of sentences, sometimes at the cost of wordiness.